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Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Day 88 9am

The hospital out-patients ophthalmology department waiting area; arrived at 8am for an 8.20am appointment. Seen at 8.15 for tests, then asked to wait for the surgeon to talk to us. We were called in to see him at 9.10am with good result; he has decided to try to improve DH's double vision caused by facial paralysis. He will be unable to correct it completely, but hopes to improve it to the point where prisms in his specs will mean he doesn't have double vision when looking straight ahead.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Day 87 Dinner Time

An out of focus chicken on the spit, cooking to perfection in my vintage Moulinex Rotisserie.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Day 83 Clock

The cuckoo clock was a gift from a Dutch friend; as you can probably tell from the length of the chains, it isn't a chain wound one, it has a little key, and I never remember to wind it!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Day 78 Hobby

One of my many hobbies is crochet. I am making Sunflower Granny squares at the moment. The basket they are in was crocheted from supermarket plastic carrier bags in the days when they were free.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Day 77 Music

Spotify is the way I listen to music most often, although the new rule that stipulates only 5 plays per track is a bit of a bind. My picture is a screen shot of the opening page, showing the new releases. I now make it a rule to always listen to at least 1 new album before going to my playlists. I took a leaf from my friend Robert's book; he is in his 90s, and one day we called on him to find he was listening to some really thumpety thump garage/trance type of noise. I asked why he was listening to it, and his answer was that he didn't knock anything until he had tried it...

Friday, 16 March 2012

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Day 75 Wild

This cat is out in the wild; through no fault of his own he is a complete and utter nuisance. He was abandoned by his first owners when they moved out of a nearby rented house and so had to start scavenging for food. He soon learnt how to use a cat flap and there would be battles in my kitchen when he sneaked in at night. This tailed off when I stopped leaving the cat biscuit dish out, but he knew when feeding times were and started waiting on the doorstep to waylay our cats when they tried to come in and I would have to stand guard to keep him out. Then new neighbours moved in and took to feeding the "bad boy". Things improved for a couple of years .... until they moved out and he was left to fend for himself again. My boys are getting on now, they are both 13. Chancey is a timid cat and keeps out of his way as much as possible, but Charlie is having none of it and the fur flies every time they cross paths. Bites turn into abscesses and cat antibiotics have become a standard item on the shopping list. The last battle I witnessed between Charlie and the intruder resulted in Charlie losing a canine tooth; it was left on the path with a large amount of white fur! We now have new neighbours again. They have a Rotty and two Chihuahuas, but  have started feeding him because he was pinching the dogs food from under their noses. He may not be stealing food any more but he still wants to rule the roost in our garden as well as theirs, and our cats have taken to spending the day further afield.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Day 74 Unusual Camera Angle

Does this qualify as an unusual angle? I don't know if it does but it will have to do! Just so that you know what you are looking at, I have added a couple of other shots of the Agave. I only have a couple of these left as they are vicious nasty plants that spike you in the bum when you are least expecting it, and the wounds always fester and leave scars. I attack them in return with my secateurs and remove the end spikes as they are the worst offenders. I keep two just in case we should ever feel the need to knock up a batch of Tequila...

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Day 73 Shapes in Nature

I don't know what the correct name for this plant is, but we call it the Sausage Tree. We started with one small plant and now it has become a pest that seeds itself everywhere. Luckily the seedlings are large, easy to distinguish and easy to uproot. This is one that took root in the base of the garden wall. It has lumps knocked off it whenever I park the car in front of it, but it doesn't seem to care! Later in the year it will sprout bunches of leaves at the end of each sausage, followed by nondescript flowers that then produce large seed heads full of parachutes that carry the seeds far and wide.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Day 72 Garden

The most colourful things in my garden at the moment are the freesias. It is mainly the cream and yellow ones that are open at the moment, the pink and blue shades open later.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Day 70 Plant

One of my favourite Springtime plants; I had this wisteria for 10 years before it flowered, but now it is making up for lost time. The big fat buds are just beginning to open up at first floor level. At ground level, where they are in the shade of trees and bushes, the branches are bare of growth...but their day will come!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Day 69 Fuzzy

This was an easy one; all I need do was to look down at my lap and the knitted blanket that was keeping the chill at bay! This is an ongoing project; the centre was made from odd balls of mohair knitted in a zigzag, but as I find odds and ends, I crochet them around the edge and it is still growing.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Day 68 Bathtime

This was not easy as we usually shower, so I was thinking of the photos I took of birds having a bath, but that was quite a while ago...then I saw this while walking around the local market!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Day 65 Arranged

As usual on a Monday, nothing complicated from me! A few flowers from the garden

arranged in a bud vase. Three varieties of spurge (weeds to some people) and a few Freesias. The smaller whiter flower head is a naturalised variety with a very strong scent. It grows in great swathes on the hillsides.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Day 64 Chairs

Empty chairs on the shady side of the street. The sun is hot today, but the wind is chilly if not tempered by the heat of the sun. 

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Day 63 Flat

Flat? Now there's a tough one; flat tyre, flat battery, flat chest, flat as a pancake...apart from the flat chest, I'm right out of those, so when in doubt, go for a walk around the garden...I thought of taking a photo of the flat leaf parsley that is just starting to grow, but then changed my mind...

...and put the camera flat on the floor...the ground beneath the almond tree is covered in petals, the surface of the pond is covered in petals, even the bushes and geranium plants are sprinkled with white and pink petals...

Friday, 2 March 2012

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Day 61 Grass

We don't have anything resembling a lawn. For a start we can't afford the constant watering that it would need, and I have no yen for neat green stripes or the work involved in keeping it up to scratch. I wondered around The Bottom, as we call the lower half of our land (much more about the flora and fauna there on another blog; put bottom into the search box) looking for a patch of green that would come under that classification, when it struck me that I was thinking too small....bamboo, the largest grass species grows well, too well, on my patch!

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Day 60 Extraordinary

It always seems extraordinary to me that plants that are hot-house florists' flowers in more northern climes grow like weeds here! Freesias seed themselves everywhere around the garden and beyond. Twenty-odd years ago I bought a pack of mixed colour corms from a supermarket. There were white ones, yellow ones, purple ones and deep red ones. Since then they have cross pollinated into every colour combination you can think of. In a couple of weeks from now I will be able to pick bunches of them, but at the moment they are only in bud. I noticed last year that a lot of the latest seedlings are producing brown/bronze/yellow mixtures, in fact, reverting to type, so I think I may dead head as many of them as I can so they don't seed.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Day 59 Grey

There is nothing grey about the weather today, although there was a morning mist that might have come in handy yesterday. I have decided to take a photo of our grey and white lodger cat, Chancie. He is tame insofar as he will come in for food, as long as he can see that the door is open and he can make a swift escape. He will condescend to have his head scratched as long as you are sitting down and he comes to you, but he doesn't like to be indoors for long.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Day 57 Tree or Misty

It isn't misty as far as the weather goes, and Mondays are always too busy for me to spend too much time thinking about other ways I could interpret the word, so I have gone with the easy option; it's the almond tree again as that is the only one in my garden likely to show much change as the year progresses. Pine trees, palm trees and rubber trees all look much the same whatever the month, and the Mimosa trees, the other option apart from some fruit trees, have just passed their best and look slightly brown and bedraggled.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Day 56 Light

This is an Edwardian electric mushroom lamp that lives by my beside. By rights it should probably be rewired, as the original thread and rubber covered flex is getting frayed, but modern flex seems stiff and inflexible compared to the old one that falls inside the cut glass stem and out through a small semicircle cut in the base. It only has one bulb in at the moment as bayonet fittings are not found on local supermarket shelves, and even in the import shops that do stock them, clear glass incandescent candle bulbs are not easy to come by.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Day 56 Saturday or Raindrops

Suzie gave us a choice today; raindrops or if it wasn't raining where we are, what Saturday means to us. Well it isn't raining. When it rains here, it really rains...

the garden soon looks like this....

... but it isn't raining, so what does Saturday mean to me? Saturday kitchen! After that the TV is tuned permanently to the sports channels and I do anything else but watch it...

Friday, 24 February 2012

Day 55 Clouds

When we set off for our walk this morning the sky was mainly blue, but when we turned for home and headed back towards the Peñon the clouds were moving in.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Day 54 In the details

Another early start today as we had to be back at the hospital for 8.15am. to have the eye checked by the surgeon. He was happy with the result so far, but wants to see Justin again in a fortnight as the incision is larger than usual and more open to infection. As we were driving away from the hospital Justin was very pleased to note that his double vision has disappeared when he looks into the distance, he only saw one set of white lines, not the- usual crisscross. This is now only evident at middle and close distance. We went shopping on our way home, so I didn't see today's word until late morning. I thought about it while I was eating my lunch. I had just finished writing out the details of Justin's new eye drop regime into a table; five different kinds of drops, to be administered at differing intervals for a differing number of days, ranging from 4 to 30 ... but I have already taken photographs of words on paper so I looked around for something else.

I love beach combing; wherever I am I can't resist picking up bits and pieces, be it a shell, a bit of sea glass, a tiny crab's claw or a pretty pebble. I have a box filled with  small scale driftwood I used to use with tiny shells and other titbits for decorating photograph frames, assorted boxes of shells, even jam jars of different colours of sand...one of these days I shall have to downsize and have a clear out, but until then...

On my coffee table I have a low glass bowl with a layer of sand from our local beach, and in it I have an assortment of small reminders of places I have visited in past years. Everything is on a small scale, the pleasure is in the detail and the memories. This little group is just a sample. The red Serpentine pebble is from an misty morning visit to La Isla de La Toja in Galicia. The glass bubble, just a centimetre in diameter, is a reminder of the glass factory in Hergiswil. The tiny sea urchin and the abalone shell I found on a pebbled beach in La Coruña; how they survived being thrown about in the Atlantic and washed up on a stony beach I don't know, but there were many of them scattered amongst the pebbles without any sign of damage. The small black scallop shell came from the beach of Lido de Jesolo, picked up while I waited for the ferry to take me into Venice. The pink and black marbled scallop came from our own beach here in Calpe. Some years ago a very bad storm washed nearly all the sand from the most Southerly of our long beaches and it was replaced with sand dredged up from the sand banks off the Sierra Helada. The sand came loaded with assorted shellfish, many not seen before on our beach and of course those deposited above the tide line had no chance of surviving. The mechanical beach cleaners employed by the local Council to clean the beaches have removed all the larger shells, but the smaller ones escape the mesh, and make walking the tide line more interesting than it used to be.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Day 53 Ordinary

Today has been anything but ordinary so far; up at 6am, out of the house at 6.30, and then drive up the motorway in order to be at the hospital for a 7.30am appointment. Justin's name was called at 7.35, and by 8am he was stripped, gowned, capped, tagged, bagged and sat in a reclining chair admiring his fetching paper slippers. I was then sent to wait outside while they fitted a drip and took him in to remove the cataract in his left eye. It took a lot longer than normal, because one of the medications he takes affects the iris muscle, but all went well, so my ordinary on this anything but ordinary day is Justin at 10.30am, back in his ordinary clothes, (I am not so cruel that I would show you his previous get-up) waiting for the nurse to remove his drip catheter before we went for a late breakfast. Don't you just love his fetching wraparound sunglasses, courtesy of the Spanish Health Service? These are for tomorrow, when we have to return at 8am to have the dressing removed and the first of many drops inserted...I've just been and collected a carrier bag of five different ones from the chemist!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Day 52 Sky High

A clear cloudless blue sky is "situation normal" for me. A few fluffy clouds or a towering thundercloud have me leaping for my camera. I have sunrise clouds and sunset clouds, far out to sea clouds and over the mountain clouds, but today is one of the clear blue days so far...

I thought I might be lucky and catch con trails. We live in a part of Spain where north, south, east and west flight paths intersect and make fantastic criss cross patterns in the sky, but there mustn't be the right atmospheric conditions today; I have heard the far off sounds of aircraft, but they have left no trails, so here is the clear blue sky as a back drop to the hips on a rambling rose bush that originally scrambled over the stump of a pine tree, and now that the stump has completely rotted away, scrambles over itself and a couple of  reinforcing rods bent into a lopsided arch. Most of the hips have dried and shrivelled, especially the ones that birds have pecked, but here and there some are still bright red.

Monday, 20 February 2012

The New Word Verification Box

I'm posting this on all my blogs because I have different readers on each. I apologise if you are one of those who visit more than one and read this more than once.

There has been a lot of complaints recently about the new double word verification box on Blogger. People who run Challenge blogs and have to visit lots of blogs have been making pleas for bloggers to turn off wv. I thought I had complied; I turned it off on all my other blogs a couple of years ago. Recently I have read many more comments and complaints refering to it, I have even had a comment myself today.  I have visited other blogs written by the very ones pleading for its demise only to find that they have it in place themselves. I decided to check my settings and found that the option to turn wv on or off has disappeared. Not only that, but in blogger help, the link to an explanation of wv led to an error notification page. I Googled and eventually read the suggestion that one try clicking on the question mark at the side of the wv box...and this is what I learnt:

Helping the World One Word at a Time
By entering the words in the box, you are also helping to digitize texts that were written before the computer age. The words that you see were taken directly from old texts that are being scanned and stored in digital format in order to preserve them and make them more accessible to the world. Since some of the words in these texts are difficult for computers to process, we are using the results of your efforts to help decipher them.

There followed a link to another page with more information. It made interesting reading, but I was still no nearer to finding out if wv is now compulsory or not. I searched on and found the answer eventually. The only way to have the option to remove vw is to go back to the old Dashboard interface! So there you have it. Write on an all singing, all dancing new version of Blogger and you are stuck with wv.....but you can click on the cog, go back to the old version of your Dashboard, change and save your settings, then go back to the new version and hopefully the new settings will stick!

Day 51 Fragile

Spring is in the air, the biting Siberian wind has gone back to Siberia, and more gentle breezes are wafting in from north Africa. The freesias are in bud, the violets and cyclamen are just beginning to open, and over the weekend, the almond tree has reached its full glory.

 The first of these fragile flowers opened last week when the wind was still icy, and strangely enough, not on the south side of the tree where it caught the warming sun, but on the north side that was bearing the brunt of the cold wind.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Day 50 Fashion

I have never been a follower of fashion, I always bought classics styles in good material and wore them until they became unwearable for one reason or another. These days comfort and warmth are my main priority, so here is my Winter fashion of choice around the house; comfy track suit style trousers, woolly socks and fluffy slippers!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Day 49 Domestic

The last word anyone would use to describe me is Domestic. I can always find something that has a higher priority. When I was working I paid someone who loved housework to do it for me. One of my first domestics refused to use electricity; she cleaned the way she had been trained, brushing all carpets with a stiff brush and beating rugs over the clothes line. When she turned up for work in the morning she donned a flowered pinny and matching cap. She got great pleasure from taking home linen tablecloths to boil and starch, and, when she was finally persuaded to stop work at 70, it was not because she wanted to, or was incapable, but because her sons who had both done well in life were finding it an embarrassment. It took a couple of years of trial and error until I finally found someone who loved her job as much and took pride in it. Someone who looked forward to our going on holiday for a couple of weeks so she could "bottom the house" ie scrub all the carpets and wash all the paintwork without anyone getting under her feet. Since retirement I have never really got into a cleaning routine, I just do jobs when it becomes very evident, even to a man on a flying horse, that they need doing. One thing I did learn from Dorothy was to always wash cloths and dusters after use, so this is what I have photographed, the cloths I have just folded and placed in my cleaning bucket. Along with the simple products I use when the spirit moves me; a bottle of strong white vinegar, a spray bottle of vinegar and water, and a spray bottle of alcohol and water.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Day 48 Abstract

I may have taken the easy way out today as I have just photographed part of the relevant page of the Shorter OED....so here you have it... an abstract of Abstract...


Having gone to post my link, I see that Suzie has been there done that so for a little variety I am adding this felt and embroidery ATC that I made a few years ago entitled Maybemiro. I've lifted the photo from my craft blog and here is the accompanying blurb:

This little fellow was embroidered for the "Travel the World" wall of ATCs at a Belgian Craft Exihibition. I was asked to do something that represented Spain, as up to now I am the only one sending from this part of the world. I decided to do a series on modern Spanish artists; Miro, Dali and Picasso. Not copies of their work, but in their style. I've had this little fellow sitting on my desk for a week now, and have grown rather attached to him, so I think I'll keep him, but I need to get my head down and do the others.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Day 47 What's inside your handbag?

Starting at 12 O'clock;  small carrier bag for use as 'doggy bag' when eating out, empty needlepoint specs case that holds my reading glasses when I am not wearing them, mobile in slashed rag cover, pack of tissues, laminated card of telephone numbers, tube of Tyrozets, lipstick, 3 pens, plastic folder containing assorted lottery tickets, 5 spice biscuits (they always come with a cup of coffee, and if I have ordered something else to snack on, I save these for emergencies), citron hand wipe, small leather purse that I use as a camera case, smaller leather purse that holds housekeeping money, even smaller purse that holds my 'pin money', diary, wallet containing my cards, prescription sun glasses, a small leather case that holds a looking glass and 2 receipts. There are no keys because the car keys get thrown into a tray by the front door, and my door keys are in my pocket because as the front door cannot be opened without a key and often blows shut in the wind, I always try to have them on my person.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012